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Apple could use its own 5G modems for iPhone starting in 2023

Apple’s first attempt to get out of its partnership with Qualcomm did not go to plan, with the company eventually agreeing to continue to use Qualcomm’s chips for iOS devices. However, Apple did buy Intel’s modem business to kickstart development of its own chips in-house, and now, it looks like Apple will switch to its own iPhone modems in 2023. 

According to researcher and Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is developing its own 5G modem. Apple will be able to start shipping iPhones with its own modems under the hood starting in 2023 ‘at the earliest’.

As pointed out by 9to5mac, Apple’s legal settlement with Qualcomm included a six year supply agreement, giving Apple the time to develop its own modem and baseband – something that will take the company several years to finalise.

If Apple is ready to begin producing its own modems for iPhones in 2023, then we may see a split, with some iPhones featuring a Qualcomm modem and some using Apple’s own until the supply agreement with Qualcomm runs its course, which should happen in 2025.

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KitGuru Says: Apple has been working to rely less on third-party suppliers for years now, culminating in the launch of Apple Silicon in 2020. Next, Apple will have its own wireless chips, which will likely end up in multiple Apple products, not just the iPhone. 

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